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More than half of internet traffic is bots, but an increasing number of internet bots are being developed to game social platforms.

Expand chart
Data: Imperva Incapsula Bot Traffic Report. Based on 16.7+ billion visits to 100,000 randomly-selected domains on the Incapsula network; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The big picture: Not all bots are bad. (Some, for example, are used to make our search experiences more accurate.) But the bots used to spread fake news are usually bad, and bad bots make up roughly one quarter of internet traffic. Bots are programmed to perform simple internet tasks repeatedly. On social media, such tasks include liking or retweeting certain content to falsely inflate its authority on the internet.

Go deeper

Supreme Court rejects second GOP effort to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court, for the second time in two days, rejected a GOP request to shorten the deadline mail-in ballots must be received by North Carolina officials to be counted.

The state of play: The state's deadline had been extended from 3 days to 9 days post-Election Day.

41 mins ago - Podcasts

The vaccine race turns toward nationalism

The coronavirus pandemic is worsening, both in the U.S. and abroad, with cases, hospitalizations and deaths all rising.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of global vaccine development — including why the U.S. and China seem to going at it alone — with medicinal chemist and biotech blogger Derek Lowe.

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases — Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.